With the possible exception of hearing that Matt Lauer has taken a permanent vow of silence, nothing brings me greater satisfaction than introducing faithful Grumpians to an underappreciated plant.x
Today’s revelation comes from Grumpy’s fall garden. It is a tough, showy, easy-to-grow native perennial called golden aster (Chrysopsis villosa). I have never seen it in anyone else’s garden, which leads me to two possible conclusions:
1. I have gone blind.
2. I am way ahead of the curve.
Having been the first person to notice Sarah Palin’s uncanny resemblance to Tina Fey, I reject the first conclusion. I must therefore accept the fact that I am a true visionary and that, as such, am honor-bound to use my gift to benefit you.
Vital Information That Will Change Your Life
Golden aster grows 3 to 4 feet tall with an upright, sturdy stems and rather small, lance-shaped leaves. It forms a steadily expanding clump that is easily divided in late fall or early spring to produce more plants for free.
Clusters of bright yellow, daisylike flowers appear atop the stems starting in mid-September. The show lasts for a couple of weeks, making this perennial an excellent choice to pair with other fall bloomers, such as New England aster, wild ageratum, ironweed, salvias, and old-fashioned mums. You will also be thrilled beyond repair to learn that it also makes an excellent, long-lived cut flower, provided, of course, that you’re into that sort of thing.
To successfully grow golden aster, you need only the following:
• A functioning brain (sorry, Matt!)
• Lots of sun
• Well-drained soil
Pretty simple, huh? Now, don’t expect to find gold aster at most garden centers. I told you it was underappreciated, didn’t I? You can, however, order it from Prairie Moon Nursery (www.prairiemoon.com).